By Tenzin Dharpo
Netherlands, Photo ManuelBauer
DHARAMHALA, Sep. 14: The Dalai Lama who is currently on a four-nation trip to Europe will meet a group of alleged sexual abuse victims by Buddhist masters on Friday in the Netherlands, the AFP
reported. The Tibetan leader will begin his schedule in Netherlands from today.
The group of 12 people reportedly started a petition on Monday asking the Tibetan leader to meet and interact with the group. The petition has gathered close to a thousand signatures. "We found refuge in Buddhism with an open mind and heart, until we were raped in its name," the victims said in their petition.
His Holiness the Dalai Lama arriving for his talk to students at Malmö University in Malmö, Sweden on September 13, 2018. photo- Dalailama.com
The Dalai lama’s office in response said that the group will have a brief audience with the foremost Buddhist leader on Friday afternoon.
Tseten Samdup Chhoekyapa, Secretary to the Dalai Lama has said, "His Holiness the Dalai Lama was saddened to learn of the sexual abuse suffered by students of Buddhist teachers”.
He further said that the Tibetan leader has urged victims in the past to publicly name such teachers and said that the Dalai Lama "has consistently denounced such irresponsible and unethical behaviour," and that "such misbehaviour was intolerable and must stop".
At least five Tibetan teachers were said to be named in the petition. Prominent Buddhist figures in the west, Sogyal Rinpoche of the Rigpa foundation and Sakyong Mipham of Shambhala International are two Tibetan religious figures who have been accused of sexual misconduct by followers.
The 83 year old who concluded his schedule in Sweden will give public talks and religious teachings in Rotterdam until September 17 and then head to Germany and Switzerland.